Chinese historical records that Paracel Islands (西沙群岛) and Spratly Islands belong to Vietnam

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4 min readApr 9, 2020

Chinese historical records that Paracel islands (西沙群岛) and Spratly Islands belong to Vietnam

西沙群岛 / 西沙群島 属于 Viet Nam

Paracel islands, also know as 西沙群岛 / 西沙群島 / Xisha Islands / Sansha (Chinese); Hoang Sa / Quần Đảo Hoàng Sa ( Vietnamese)

Spratly Island, also know as 南沙群岛 / Nansha (Chinese); Truong Sa / Quần Đảo Trường Sa (Vietnamese)

The map originated from 1136 shows the southernmost territory of China is Hai Nan Island

According to Chinese history, in 218 BC, Qin Shi Huang tried to conquer the south and in 214 BC invaded Van Lang — Au Lac (Vietnam). The struggle of the people of Van Lang — Au Lac lasted from 214–208 BC and ended with success.

This fight took place only in the North of the Red River basin of Van Lang — Au Lac territory. Therefore, the Qin army could not set foot in the southern part of the Red River, so they could not cross the sea to reach Hoang Sa and Truong Sa in the middle of the sea.

When the Han replaced the Qin Dynasty and proceeded to expand the land towards the South, it captured three Viet countries (Dong Viet, Man Viet and Nam Viet), but the Western Han Dinasty had no power at all in the sea area of below 20o North.

Another book in the Song dynasty said the border of Chinese territory with other countries was in Tonkin Gulf, while Hoang Sa and Truong Sa are hundreds of miles away from the Tonkin Gulf to the south.

  • “Giao Chau di vat chi” — A book about strange things in Jiaozhou (the name of Vietnam today) — (Yang Fu, Eastern Han dynasty, 25–220 AD) including unusual things about foreign countries
中華民國全圖 1911–1949

Thus, ancient Chinese bibliographies in the Song dynasty all show that the Paracel and Spratly Islands did not belong to China but to another country, which China called Giao Chau (Jiaozhou) or Giao Chi (Jiaozhi)

  • In the 12th century, a historian of the Song Dynasty named Zhao Nengkua in his book “Chư phiên chí” (a book about ancient China’s tributaries) confirmed many important historical events from the Han Dynasty. The book also wrote that Wànlǐ cháng shā (Hoang Sa Islands) was a dangerous place where Chinese boats should not come close to. “Chư phiên chí”, the title of the book, means stories about foreign countries. Hoang Sa, in the book, was not located in China, but in Nam Viet. As such, the Chinese southernmost territory in the Han dynasty was in Hainan Island.
In the Ming Dynasty, in Mao Yuan Yi’s “Vu Bi Chi” book, the East Sea was called Jiaozhi sea (Jiaozhi is the name of Vietnam today)
  • In “Dư địa đồ đời Nguyên” (Maps of the Yuan Dynasty) by Chudou, which was resized in a map book entitled “Quang du do” by La Hongtian released in 1561, Hainan Island was once again defined as the southernmost Chinese territory.
  • In the 19th century, a Chinese book entitled “Hải quốc đồ ký” by Wu Pingnan described Hoang Sa as a sand strip in the sea used as a fence that shields the outer side of An Nam (Vietnam). As such, the document acknowleged that Hoang Sa Islands belonged to Vietnamese territory
Maps of China 1905 without Paracel Island and Spratly
  • In the case of the fishermen of Hainan Island robbing a wrecked ship carrying copper in the Hoang Sa Islands in 1895–1896, responding to an appeal letter from the British government, the Viceroy of the Two Guangs (Guangdong and Guangxi) stated that Hoang Sa had no relation to China.

=>As such, ancient Chinese documents all show that Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) (China calls Xisha and Nansha) have been discovered and used for many centuries peacefully and continually by the Vietnamese, without any protest from any countries, including China

whole maps of viet nam since 1834 that has been Paracel island and Spratly Island

whole maps of viet nam since 1834 that has been Paracel islands and Spratly Islands.

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